Image: Megan Varner/Getty Images.

By Rashad Grove

Nashville, Tenn. (TN Tribune)–Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced plans to sign an executive order to make Juneteenth a paid holiday for city employees, the Associated Press reports.

On Tuesday, the Metro Civil Service Commission (CSC) approved the measure to recognize Juneteenth as “a formal Metro holiday for all civil service status employees,”  according to a press release.

Cooper’s signed executive order will extend the holiday to all Metro employees as well as non-civil service status employees.

Earlier this year, a bi-partisan effort proposal to make Juneteenth an official statewide paid holiday was shot down in the GOP-controlled General Assembly. To offset the cost of the bill, Gov. Bill Lee earmarked funds for the measure in his proposed spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

“There’s a federal holiday there and in order to be consistent with that very important day in our country’s history we felt it important to have a state holiday as well,” Lee said.

The late Texas Rep. Al Edwards—nicknamed the Father of Juneteenth—advocated for the historic day to be recognized nationwide.

President Joe Biden signed a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday in 2021,

“Great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments,” Biden said at the time. “They embrace them.”